The cruel, frustrating, sandy-haired, ass-on-a-security-camera joke continues: single, reasonably fit, and available young people who don’t go to church or ascribe to traditional interpretations of sin, spending significant amounts of time together in enamouring locales with little likelihood of a casual hook-up escalating into a complicated relationship, all turned on with nowhere to go. Which is why the list of ‘love’ spots that yacht crew make best use of is as long as a dark seawall at 4:15 in the morning.
“The hot tub, the foredeck, the cockpit of a neighbouring sailboat we thought was unattended but in fact was very attended, the beach, a freshly painted bench, the hood of a stationary car, the hood of a moving car, the coat check, a sleeping great dane, a phone booth though those are getting hard to find, the dairy section, against a wall, in a bus shelter, a swing set, in the middle of a quiet road, and occasionally a hotel room though only when I can pay double the usual price to use it for a fraction of the time.” Lists Sven Morbod, deckhand on a yacht and lover on the run, when asked where he goes to make the magic happen. “Pretty much anywhere with a surface that can support the passionate embrace of two people who don’t know each others’ names and aren’t planing on finding out.”
Ada Lacroix, bosun on a sailboat that ascribes to the industry standard view of sex (fine if you can get it just not onboard with anyone who hasn’t had a full safety familiarization, looked the captain in the eye, and done at least one trip as crew), rattles off a list even more impressive – and frankly more creative – than Sven’s. Suffice to say it came as a surprise that one (or three) could safely access the cab of a crane after hours. For the record: you can’t. Not safely.
“Oh yeah, my butt is all over DVR surveillance systems globally,” Joan says with undisguised pride. “If there were some sort of bum-recognitition software in use on the security cameras that have caught me in the act, Interpol would have me down as an international woman of masstery. Holla.” She says, matter-of-factly.
“Having an active sex life on a yacht is like living with your parents, except only if your parents cared way more about security than who, or what, you rumbaed with.”
And it was ever thus. For decades yacht crew have found the shadier sides of palm trees, the shallower parts of nighttime swims, the un-splintering planks of discarded pallets, and sometimes just had it out right in the middle of the dock in an un-selfconscious, rhythmic, near-horizontal version of a streetfight the police don’t want any part of. Because those crew can’t go home. Or stop.
“And you know what? I really don’t mind that I can’t take anyone back onboard,” Admits Sven. “Yes it would be a lot easier on my knees to be able to use my bunk, but it’s pretty crowded in there in case you haven’t noticed. When I masturbate it sounds like David Grohl is giving me drum lessons.” We pause here for awhile, collecting our breath and listening to the Foo Fighters play ‘My Hero’ on Sven’s phone. “You know what I mean?”
“So really it’s ok,” Sven continues, looking thoughtful. “We’re young and I sort of feel like it’s all part of the adventure. I don’t know if you’ve really lived until you’ve woken up in a marina parking lot wearing just a ripped t-shirt, and realized you’re occupying the last available spot and the bumper of your captain’s truck is slowly edging over top of you. If that isn’t living well, you can go ahead and water-cannon that riot thanks, I’m going to keep on loving on the run.” He gets up to continue searching for his jeans, pauses before leaving, and asks if Ada is on YachtChat.